­Service Design within Finnish Immigration Services

A project that begun with a placeholder name ‘New Working Lab’ by the Finnish Immigration Service is an ambitious one — with a long-term vision it’s goal is to integrate new ways of working from Service Design practice into all parts of the organisation and its culture.

This by no means is a new concept; innovation labs are a trend in virtually every sector today, both public and private, and oftentimes they are a vital part of catching up with what we call Liquid Expectations of users, customers — and in our case — citizens and potential citizens.

However, the more we would meet different employees and stakeholders of the service and we’d refer namely to ‘The Lab’ and its ongoing projects — a sense of partition would arise. It became evident that we needed a better way to talk about the vision of everyone becoming part of the new culture, instead of talking about some mystery space where innovation was being cooked up and then revealed for the rest of the organisation. So, we spent more time listening and held a day of workshop with the aim to find the right kind of brand — a personality — for the project and its people.

Finding a name and personality

We were slightly hesitant in calling the workshop a brand workshop — as ‘brand’ can be an ugly word and full of preconceptions. So we begun the day with a conversation, an ice breaker if you will, where we’d all stand up and tell the others the one thing that we love about living in Finland, and one that we hate about living in Finland. We’d hear people dig into their personal moments such as sense of safety and expectations of honesty. Someone described a scene where they’re abroad and a cashier greets with a ‘How are you today’ and how a Finn would quite easily spend a while giving a summary of the day to this stranger — this story exemplifying the culture she’s used to where niceties and surfaces play very little part. It is not about being impolite as much as being open and direct.

By the time we were done, a wall had been filled with words, and with that we managed to steer away from thinking what our brand should look like and instead got to know each other and the things we all wanted to highlight or make possible.

Welcome to Inland

“Inland is a place you can’t find on the map — it’s a mind-set”

We are no longer talking about a laboratory — there are no them & us, but all of us, working with principles that foster collaboration, openness and action beyond silos. Inland wants to become part of a bigger thing by showing how they work and what rules they use. It is not about being polished or even ready; ideas are not cooked till ripe but built and tested in their infancy. The experience we want people to have when starting is one of easy understanding and roll-up-your-sleeves attitude. This brings us to the direct expression of the brand; a digital space that’s shared early and built alongside with different ongoing short projects that in turn bring context and real reference point to begin with.

Manifesto leads the planning and creation of digital inland. We know that transformations will not happen in singular interactions with inland or by just seeing how it works. It happens over time with inland methods and processes incorporated to work planning, discussions and decision making. Anchored in the new brand, they encourage to start without the weight of how things have always been done, inspiring to work in a new way.

visit www.inland.studio for more.